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Hawkian 02-08-2013 05:42 PM

Using Plant Tabs in Sand Substrate
Has anyone ever used plant tabs in sand? Are there reasons why this would be inadvisable? Most of my plants are low light but I have a couple that seem to require a little more richness in the substrate (namely an amazon sword and a tiger lotus) and I'd like to give them a fighting chance.

steven p 02-08-2013 06:04 PM


Only if your sand bed is too shallow and you use too many.

discuspaul 02-08-2013 06:16 PM

Root tabs in sand will do a good job providing very satisfactory growth to Swords and Lotuses, among many other rooted plants.
Care to have a look at my low-tech planted discus tank using root tab ferts in pool filter sand ?

Hawkian 02-08-2013 10:04 PM

That is a good looking tank my friend. What kind of tabs do you use? How many at a time and how often do you replace them? Do you also use liquid fertz?

discuspaul 02-08-2013 10:56 PM

I've used several kinds of root tabs - Seachem Flourish tabs or API tabs are both good.
How many depends on the size of tank, the quantity of plants, and how thickly, or sparsely they are, and how far apart they are from each other.

If the plantings are fairly heavy and quite close together, you could use 1 tab every 4" to 6" or 8" or so. Examples might be say, no more than 3 or 4 tabs needed in a 10 gal tank, whereas a 75 gal tank could likely use 10 to 12, or more - Get the picture ? Push the tabs into the substrate near the heaviest concentration of rootings in the planted areas.
The tabs should be replaced with new about every 4-5 months.

I also use a limited amount of liquid ferts on a semi-weekly basis, (examples are Tetra FloraPride and Flourish comprehensive Supplement), along with Excel, mainly for the benefit of non-rooted Anubias/Java Ferns and the like. Or you could use dry ferts for the water column instead.

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